Archives for : September2009

THE OPTIMIST FELL from the fourth floor sill

And as he passed each window bar,
He shouted to the folks below,
“Doing all right so far…!”

How ridiculous! Yet there are preachers across the land that advocate a lot of feel-good religion without a call to commitment or even a call to reality. A preacher was telling a congregation that if they lived right, God would bless them with health, wealth, popularity, and happiness. Tell that to families who mourn the loss of their loved ones. Tell that to a family who loses their home in a fire. Tell that to one who works for years at a job and then gets laid off in a cut back.

Jesus Himself is described as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3Isaiah 53:3
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3 He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not.

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). Jesus calls us to have a balance in life. He wants us to be real, not some kind of phony religious nuts who go around with fake, painted-on smiles. The difference between us and the world is not measured by our lack of problems, but rather by the presence of a constant Friend who helps us through them.

In contrast to those who never appear to have a sad moment, there are some who are under the misconception that to be truly humble, we have to put on a sad look and a sad disposition. Jesus specifically warned against trying to get people to feel sorry for us when we are fasting, giving, or praying (Matthew 6:1-18Matthew 6:1-18
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6 1 Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else ye have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 When therefore thou doest alms, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee. 5 And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee. 7 And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may be seen of men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face; 18 that thou be not seen of men to fast, but of thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall recompense thee.

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Neither is spirituality the same as feeling guilty all the time. We believe in the awesome power of the cross of Christ to receive remission of sins and inner healing. If we are truly forgiven, why should we mope around acting pathetic? If we have the promise of eternal life in Heaven, why should we live in worry, fear, or doubt?

The key to a fulfilling Christian life is to learn to live appropriately. We must be open and sensitive to the needs and the feelings of those around us. When one member of the Body is hurting, we should all feel the pain. When one member of the Body has cause to celebrate, we should all join in to enjoy the person’s success and blessing. In doing so, we draw closer and closer each day. We become stronger so that we can better endure our hardships, overcome our obstacles, and enjoy our fellowship even more deeply. (Roger Wright)

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15Romans 12:15
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15 Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep.

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–Mike Benson

People can be like sheep

NEAR THE VILLAGE of Gevas in eastern Turkey, while shepherds ate their breakfast, one of their sheep jumped off a 45-foot cliff to its death…

Then, as the stunned shepherds looked on, the rest of the flock followed. In all, 1,500 sheep mindlessly stumbled off the cliff. The only good news was that the last 1,000st 1,000
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Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se za?ne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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were cushioned in their fall by the growing woolly pile of those who jumped first. According to The Washington Post, 450 sheep died.
The Bible often refers to human beings as sheep (Ps. 100:3Ps. 100:3
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3 Know ye that Jehovah, he is God: It is he that hath made us, and we are his; We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

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; Isa. 53:6Isa. 53:6
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6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

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; Matt. 9:36Matt. 9:36
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36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd.

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). Easily distracted and susceptible to group influence, we would rather follow the crowd than the wisdom of the Shepherd.

Whom are we following? One another? Or the voice and direction of the Good Shepherd? Our challenge is to avoid the mistake of the sheep who blindly followed one another over a cliff. We must make it our daily purpose to ask ourselves: Am I listening for the voice of the Good Shepherd? Am I following Him? (Mart De Haan)

Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare. (Thrupp)

Jesus Christ: Tempted in all points like we are

A STORY IS told of a man whose wife had deserted him for another man… She had succeeded in taking away their children. The estranged husband had given into depression and lost his business. Broken hearted and ruined, he became obsessed with the enormity of his troubles and refused every offer of encouragement and hope. The day came when he heard a great sermon on Christ having been “in all points tempted like as we are,” but rather than being comforted he resented the sermon and told the preacher. “Yes, Jesus suffered many things, but he never had a wife and family stolen from him. He was never married, never had children, so that’s suffering he never knew.” The preacher wisely responded, “You have seen an accomplished violinist play a great variety of music. There are only four strings on his violin, but they can produce both dances and dirges. The same four strings can cover the whole range. No, Jesus did not experience your trials in the same details, but he endured the broad range of disappointment, desertion, grief, pain, and even dying, so that the strings of his heart can vibrate with all the sad songs of life’s bitterest experiences.” (David Pharr) “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15Heb. 4:15
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15 For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

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Some Christianity is just like professional sports

I LOVE GOING to Chicago’s Wrigley Field for a baseball game—sitting in the stands, downing a great hot dog, and cheering the Cubs on to victory…! Unfortunately, Christianity has become a lot like professional sports. As a friend of mine has observed, there are nine guys on the baseball field doing all the work and thousands in the stands just watching. And as you probably know, that’s not God’s game plan for His people. He wants us to climb out of the stands, get out on the field, and join the team. If you are wondering what good you can do on the field, wonder no more. What about your financial resources?

Jesus can take your “silver and gold” and use it to accomplish great things for His glory. But more than just getting out your checkbook, you have gifts you can contribute. God has given each of us gifts that can help advance His kingdom. Whether it’s teaching, encouraging, serving, showing hospitality, or extending mercy, each ability can yield great dividends. Let’s follow the example of Paul, who tirelessly served on God’s field for the joy of being used by Him. Believe me, it’s far more rewarding to be on the field than to sit in the stands. (Joe Stowell) “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily” (Col. 1:28-29Col. 1:28-29
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28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ; 29 whereunto I labor also, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

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AN OPEN LETTER to the congregation of Israel from your humble servant/priests, Nadab and Abihu

Brethren,

It is with the utmost humility that we inform you of a change of worship practices in your normal sacrificing. Be assured that we are bringing about this change only after much prayer and study.

We have recently concluded an in-depth study of the Law as delivered by our brother Moses that covered 400 days. (We might note that is ten times the length of time it took the Lord to impart this Law.)

We have decided to bring about a change in the type of fire used in worship. We are aware that there is a standing tradition of using only one source of fire, but we, as holy priests, do not feel obligated to blindly follow tradition. Numerous polls of our worshipping clientele indicate the overwhelming opinion that they do not care where we get the fire used for their sacrifices just as long as the service is conducted in a respectful and meaningful way.

We were in agreement with this growing majority, as we cannot see how a change in fire will affect anything in the least about our sacrifices. The animal is still properly cooked, the incense burned. We are of the mind that were we to secretly substitute a different fire it would be impossible for any of the worshippers to know a change had taken place.

Besides all this, we became aware of the fact that nowhere in the Law does the Lord forbid the use of what some of our detractors have referred to as “strange fire.” We feel that the lack of such a restriction was meant to give us freedom. For those who disagree, we would ask you to show us any place in the Law that tells us we cannot do something the Lord has not seen fit to condemn.

We also wish to point out that the congregation of Israel is the only religious group in the known world that willingly limits itself to only one kind of fire. We have become the laughingstock of the land of Canaan and have been ridiculed openly by many groups. This “only one fire” self-righteous policy has alienated us from everyone else. We believe this change will open up many fellowship opportunities.

Now, to set the minds of some of you at ease, we will continue to offer a traditional service using the old-fashioned fire as well as this progressive service with the new fire. As a matter of fact, we may occasionally use the old fire in our progressive service for special feast days. In this way we hope that our older citizens are still comfortable even though they dogmatically insist on a worship style which is declining and we believe to be stunting our growth.

Consider the freedom this new practice affords us! We will no longer have the expense of maintaining a constant fire in one location. This will also make it possible to appeal to a younger audience as we discover more entertaining ways to “light the fire” of our assemblies. (We hope you caught the little play on words there!)

For those who still oppose the use of new fire, we ask you not to be judgmental of new ideas. We also hope you will not use this change as a excuse to divide our people or stir up trouble within the congregation. We remind you that this has been well thought out and the majority of elders have signed on with us. It is true we have not included our father Aaron in this deliberation; but we were well aware of his tradition-bound views and still plan to leave him in charge of doing the traditional service anyway. We also have not consulted Moses, but his humility is well known and we are confident he will want to uphold the majority decision in this effort to improve our worship.

We are very much looking forward to our first new fire service. We hope you will make a special effort to be present to witness a new age of enlightenment in the church of Israel. We know God will be watching and we anticipate that his joy over seeing his people take a great step toward throwing off the burden of binding tradition will be an electrifying experience.

See you there. Bring some extra barbecue sauce, for we think this new practice is going to spread like wildfire!

For freedom’s sake!

Nadab & Abihu, DDLP (Doctors of Divine Law and Progress)

After the successful changeover in this part of our worship, future plans include the ordination of women priests, inter-idol fellowship activities with the various pagan groups nearby, and a special service called, “It doesn’t have to be Passover to celebrate Passover anymore.” (David Brassfield)

“Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.  So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD” (Leviticus 10:1-2Leviticus 10:1-2
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10 1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took each of them his censer, and put fire therein, and laid incense thereon, and offered strange fire before Jehovah, which he had not commanded them. 2 And there came forth fire from before Jehovah, and devoured them, and they died before Jehovah.

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The word "from" in the Bible

The preposition FROM

 THE WORD “FROM” IS NOT ONLY A COMMON WORD FOR US, IT IS A COMMON BIBLE WORD.

 a)      In addition to being common, it is important as we see from our first reference, Mt. 1:21Mt. 1:21
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21 And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins.

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b)      It was said Jesus would save people FROM their sins.

2)      A military power cannot deliver us from sin; political power cannot free us from sin.

3)      Money does not deliver us from it and sin cannot be overcome by getting an education.

4)      The only victory from sin is through Jesus Christ.

5)      Mt. 3:7Mt. 3:7
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7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said unto them, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

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6)      Today we see people fleeing from a danger.

7)      Mt. 5:29-30Mt. 5:29-30
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29 And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell.

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8)      Why would a person pluck out their own eye?

9)      Sin is bad so Jesus said we want to do all we can to stay away “from” it.

a)      God wants us to stay away FROM sin.

b)      Sometimes this is going to be very, very difficult.

c)      It may be hard because it will make us unpopular.

d)     It may be hard because a sin is very attractive to us.

e)      It may be hard because it would mean we avoid something that our friends do.

f)       FROM is a word that partly describes how Christians live.

10)  Another passage that uses FROM in the Sermon on the Mount is found in the next chapter.

a)      Mt. 6:13Mt. 6:13
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13 And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

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– READ

b)      Before a person sins, there is usually some type of temptation.

c)      Like a fish that studies a worm on a hook, so man often looks at temptation.

d)     Mt. 7.  Verse 23 – READ

11)  What if God said to us, “Go away from me?”

12)  What if God not only said this, He said “Go away from me FOREVER?”

13)  This is what the Lord described in this verse.

a)      Mt. 8:11Mt. 8:11
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11 And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven:

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– READ

b)      Jesus said people will come from the “east and the west.”

c)      Jesus used these two directions to describe people from many different places.

d)     In Mt. 13:35Mt. 13:35
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35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.

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Jesus said some things had been hidden FROM the foundation of the world.

14)  We can know what is right and do what is right because we have God’s full revelation.

15)  We can read it, hear it, study it in hundreds of different ways, and search it in multiple ways.

16)  All kinds of people should be doing what is right.

a)      The sad truth is that many are not doing what is right.

b)      Think about Mt. 15:8Mt. 15:8
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8 This people honoreth me with their lips; But their heart is far from me.

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in light of our current culture.

17)  Jesus said their heart is FAR FROM me.

18)  A person can profess to be religious.  He can say the right things and come to the right place.

19)  A person may even believe the right things.

20)  God said a person’s heart can be in a different place.

a)      Part of the problem was using information other than God’s revealed word, Mt. 15:9Mt. 15:9
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9 But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.

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b)      If our heart has been moved away from God, it is in the wrong place.

21)  FROM is a word that matters a lot in many different areas of life.

22)  God is very serious about religion and this includes getting away from sin; are we as serious?

Are you prepared for eternity?

  A man recently asked me to watch for a used riding lawn mower and tonight I spied one that was about like he wants.  Since the mower was located near the road I was driving on and some family members were outside, I decided to stop and get some information.

The family dog was not visible and apparently not interested in me when I stopped.  Neither did it show itself when I left my truck.  When I was a good distance from my vehicle the dog did take an interest in me and he was big.  He raced out to my location as fast as he could with teeth barred and a nasty bark.  His salivating jaws and not so dull teeth grazed my hand as a woman screamed DON’T MOVE.  It was a thoughtful but unnecessary warning.  I stood very still hoping Fido would leave me with all my arms and legs.

The woman made her way out to me, called off the dog, and gave me all the information I sought.   Making it back into the vehicle safely not only left me thankful but thinking about warnings.  We may receive a warning well before it is needed, just before it is needed, or after the fact (too late).  Some warnings are worthless and some save lives.

God has issued some warnings to the world, one of which is found in 2 Peter 3:10-112 Peter 3:10-11
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10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness,

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:  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  11 Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in (all) holy living and godliness. 

Do you believe God’s warning?  Have you prepared yourself for eternity?  If not, a time is coming when it will be too late.

A woman who had 22 different husbands

I was very shocked to read about a Malaysian woman who is 107 year old and is married to a man who is 70 year younger than her. I was even more shocked to read that this is her 22nd marriage! In her previous marriages, some had died and some had divorced. In this article she was expressing that she was afraid her current husband would leave her for a younger woman, but even if he did she had her eyes on a 50-year-old man. If this was not already bad enough, her current husband expressed that they fell for each other because it was “God’s will” (CNN News).

What? It was God’s will that this woman have 22 different husbands over the course of her life just so she eventually finds the one she is with now? And God had this all planned out? While many thoughts come to my mind in response to this, I will let God tell us what His will is. 1 Peter 4:1-31 Peter 4:1-3
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4 1 Forasmuch then as Christ suffered in the flesh, arm ye yourselves also with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 that ye no longer should live the rest of your time in flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past may suffice to have wrought the desire of the Gentiles, and to have walked in lasciviousness, lusts, winebibbings, revellings, carousings, and abominable idolatries:

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says, “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suf.fered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.” Then we are all familiar with other scriptures such as Matthew 5:32, 19:9Matthew 5:32, 19:9
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32 but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

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; Malachi 2:6Malachi 2:6
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6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity.

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, etc. Obviously God’s will for this couple was for them to cease from such sins as they were committing. So, this couple was absolutely not following God’s will. God did not approve of this marriage, and likely many of the others before it.

While having the attitude of “God’s will be done” is a good and valid one, this only works when people are actually trying to let God’s will work in their lives. The goal of this article was not to focus on divorce, but about letting God’s will work in our lives. Thankfully, God has revealed His will to us in the Bible. God’s will is never that we live in sin. No matter what we may think or feel is right, let’s make sure we have God’s approval within the Bible. Let’s close with Colossians 1:9-12Colossians 1:9-12
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9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;

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, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”

Christianity is to be an active lifestyle, a work, a passion

Good Men Doing Nothing
(Tim Dooley)
    There is an old saying by Edmund Burke that asserts, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” This is most certainly true for the lives of Christians. It has been said that if we stand still the world and denominationalism will pass us by.  Many of us have seen this happen in our lifetimes regarding the church, truth, doing of good, and the souls of men.
What have we seen good men not do?

Certainly you could add many more things to this list, but you get the idea.  Christianity is to be an active lifestyle, a work, a passion. If good men do nothing, if Christians do nothing, evil will triumph.
However, doing nothing does not remove culpability. Pilate tried to wash his hands and do nothing, but he could have stood for what was right and released Jesus (Matt. 27:24Matt. 27:24
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24 So when Pilate saw that he prevailed nothing, but rather that a tumult was arising, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see ye to it.

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). What does this mean for you and I? Well, we don’t have to do any of the things we have mentioned. We can stand by and let evil prevail.  If we do don’t be surprised when you suffer evil, loose your home in Heaven and find yourself in eternal damnation with those you allowed to win here on earth. Be faithful! 

Good Men Doing Nothing
(Tim Dooley)
 
There is an old saying by Edmund Burke that asserts, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” This is most certainly true for the lives of Christians. It has been said that if we stand still the world and denominationalism will pass us by.  Many of us have seen this happen in our lifetimes regarding the church, truth, doing of good, and the souls of men. 

What have we seen good men not do?

Certainly you could add many more things to this list, but you get the idea.  Christianity is to be an active lifestyle, a work, a passion. If good men do nothing, if Christians do nothing, evil will triumph.

However, doing nothing does not remove culpability. Pilate tried to wash his hands and do nothing, but he could have stood for what was right and released Jesus (Matt. 27:24Matt. 27:24
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24 So when Pilate saw that he prevailed nothing, but rather that a tumult was arising, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see ye to it.

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). What does this mean for you and I? Well, we don’t have to do any of the things we have mentioned. We can stand by and let evil prevail.  If we do don’t be surprised when you suffer evil, loose your home in Heaven and find yourself in eternal damnation with those you allowed to win here on earth. Be faithful!

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The Incredible Incubator Bird

       When we talk about incredible animals that prove God’s existence, the Megapode (or Australian Incubator Bird) is one that defiantly makes the list.  Let’s discover why this bird is so incredible.
       When the female is ready to lay her eggs, she will search for a nest that the male has build and make sure it is suitable to her.  The male will make the nest about 3 feet into the ground, 10 or more feet above the ground, and sometimes 50 feet across.  This is obviously not your typical bird’s nest here.  When the female approves, she will then lay her eggs, 20-35 of them, at a rate of one egg ever 3 days for up to seven months.  It is interesting that this bird is not much bigger than a three pound hen, and yet it lays eggs as large as an ostrich egg, and many of them.  Once she is done laying her eggs she will leave the nest and never return or take any part in the incubation.
       If this wasn’t amazing enough already, the male’s responsibility is what is really astonishing.  While most birds sit on the eggs to keep them warm, this bird doesn’t.  With the eggs buried deeply in the nest, the male works very hard to make sure the nest is at a precise 91 degrees.  If it is even one degree higher or lower, the eggs will not survive.  So, to maintain the temperature, the male will dig down and check the temperature of the eggs.  If it is a particularly hot day, he will put material on the top of the nest, such as sand, to help block the sunlight and keep the eggs cool!  Or if it is a cool day, he will add additional materials to ensure the eggs are kept warm.  Sometimes he will make the nest in just the right way to let sunlight warm the eggs.  Even more incredible is that sometimes the male will use volcanic action to help warm the eggs!  Another responsibility of the male is to keep the nest at 99.5% humidity (if it drops below 80%, the chicks will die).  So, he will dig holes in the nest so moisture is able to get in.  The male digs down many times per day to check on the eggs and adjust the nest if needed.  Scientists today are not completely sure how the male incubator bird is able to check the temperature of the eggs (they think either his tongue or his beak), but whatever the mechanism may be, it is very sensitive and is able to keep precise measurements.
       As soon as they break out of their eggs, they know immediately that they will need to dig out of the nest.  They were never told this is what they needed to do, but they are born with instinctive directions only God could have implanted.  It will take them 3 days to dig out of the nest.  The chicks will dig their way out of the nest and then they are completely on their own.  The good news is, they will hatch with feathers and the capability to fly.  They are not fed or cared for in any way.  They are now dependent on themselves for survival.  How could a brand new bird, who has never even seen the sun before, know to dig its way out of the nest, know how to fly, and know how to take care of all of its survival needs?  This is obviously not learned from either parent.
       Evolution talks about how a creature will evolve when there is a need for change.  How could the incubator bird know it needed to check the temperature of the eggs, much less keep them at a precise 91 degrees?  How could he know to keep the humidity above 81%?  How do the chicks know to they are under the ground and need to dig their way out?  And how do the chicks know how to survive without ANY guidance?  An animal that is dead cannot evolve into a different form.  With evolution, this incredible bird would have gone extinct (not to mention MANY others) a long time ago. The Supreme Being of this universe could only have created this bird.  The only possible way for this bird to even be alive today is if God had a hand in all that it does.  Our God truly is an awesome God.  Let’s praise Him for His wonderful creation.
Brett Petrillo

Christian heresy

PERHAPS THE GREATEST heresy of twentieth-century American religion was to make faith into a purely personal matter and a private affair, which went neatly with the rise of the consumer society…
 
With the advent of the television preachers, faith was turned into an occasion for conspicuous consumption and effective fund-raising.  Faith became merely another commodity: “I have it, and you don’t.”  Or worse, “Here’s how you can get it too.  Our operators are standing by!”
 
But in the Bible, faith is not something you possess but rather something you practice.  You have to put it into action or it really doesn’t mean anything.  Faith changes things.  It’s the energy of transformation, both for individuals and for society.  (Jim Wallis)
 
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that there is one God. You do well.  Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:14-20James 2:14-20
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14 What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself. 18 Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith. 19 Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren?

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–Mike Benson

HYPERCRITICISM

It did not take me very long, despite living life as a preacher, to learn that there are hypercritical people everywhere.  These are the people for whom compliments and praise seem extremely difficult, but for whom complaining, murmuring, and criticizing seems second nature.  Often, they go so far as to question others’ motives or they reveal a very cynical and bitter attitude.  I have found that these folks, whatever good works they do or how actively they participate in church programs, are decided liabilities to the congregation where they are members.  Here are a few reasons why.

            Hypercritics kill morale.  No plan is good enough.  No activity is done right.  The hypercritic can be counted on to shoot holes in goals, plans, and ideas.  They can single-handedly such the enthusiasm out of a congregation with the fortitude to stand against or ignore such tirades.

            Hypercritics build walls.  They tend to cast situations in the “us” versus “them” mold.  Anyone caught in the cross hairs of their campaigns suffers character assassination.  Such personalities polarize, and they at times go so far as to be divisive.  God condemns such (1 Cor. 1:10; 3:41 Cor. 1:10; 3:4
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10 Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 4 For when one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not men?

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).  The Lord is to be the only wall builder in His church (Eph. 2:20-21Eph. 2:20-21
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20 being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone; 21 in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord;

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), and His walls unite people with differences under the authority of Christ.  From behind their walls, hypercritics take shots at fellow-soldiers in unfriendly fire.

            Hypercritics spread discontent.  Such people tend to lobby for others to join their complaint committee.  That way, they can say, “Several people feel the way I do.”  In reality, the hypercritic often creates such monsters.  Yet, these should beware.  Korah led a hypercritical campaign against Moses which turned out most poorly for him and his cohorts (Num. 16:3,31-35Num. 16:3,31-35
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3 and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Jehovah is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of Jehovah? 31 And it came to pass, as he made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them; 32 and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. 33 So they, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into Sheol: and the earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the assembly. 34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them; for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up. 35 And fire came forth from Jehovah, and devoured the two hundred and fifty men that offered the incense.

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            Hypercritics run on the deadly fuel of cynicism.  They tend to see the worst side of others.  Hypercriticism, by nature, easily leads one to judge unrighteously and blindly (Matt. 7:1-5Matt. 7:1-5
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7 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye; and lo, the beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

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).  Anything done must have been done for show.  A good deed had to have had an ulterior motive.  Hypercritics may even think of others Christians as “fakes,” “snobs,” or equally vilifying, presumptuous allegations.  Cynicism may merely come from looking at others as acting as they themselves act.

            It must be miserable to go through life predominantly seeing the worst in others and expecting the worst out of everything.  My prayer is that wherever a hypercritical spirit roams, we will “exorcise” it.  Let us use our tongues to praise more and bruise less.

Neal Pollard

 

THE PASSING OF TIME

     The rules at a particular university were such that if the professor were not present in the classroom by 15 minutes past the hour, the class was considered a “walk” and the students were free to leave — with no penalties for missing a class.  The rooms were equipped with the type wall clocks which “jumped” ahead each minute, in a very noticeable fashion.  These clocks were also not of the most sophisticated construction.  Some enterprising student discovered that if one were to hit the clock with chalkboard erasers, it would cause the clock to “jump” ahead one minute.
     So, it became almost daily routine for these students to take target practice at the clock (as it would have it, this particular professor was not the most punctual).  A few well-aimed erasers, and lo, 15 minutes were passed, and class dismissed itself.
     When the day for the next exam rolled around, the professor strolled into the room, passed out the exams, and told them “You have one hour to complete it.”
     The professor then proceeded to collect the erasers from around the room and gleefully took aim at the clock.  When he had successfully “jumped” the clock forward one hour, he closed the class and collected the exam papers.
     We’ll all been in situations where we would like for time to jump ahead and move faster than it does.  But, as we get older, we become aware than time is moving quite fast enough on its own, without any help!
     “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle…” (Job 2:6Job 2:6
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6 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thy hand; only spare his life.

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     “Now my days are swifter than a runner; They flee away….They pass by like swift ships, Like an eagle swooping on its prey.” (Job 9:25-26Job 9:25-26
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25 Now my days are swifter than a post: They flee away, they see no good, 26 They are passed away as the swift ships; As the eagle that swoopeth on the prey.

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     “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14James 4:14
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14 whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. What is your life? For ye are a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

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     The Bible speaks often about how quickly life passes, not to depress us, but to bring us to the realization that we had better be preparing now for the eternity that lies beyond this life.
     If you find yourself watching the clock at work today, wishing the time would pass faster, be careful!  It will be gone before you know it.

 

— Alan Smith

WASHING YOUR SINS AWAY

The following true story comes from the “Kids of the Kingdom” section of Christian Reader (July/August 2000):

     As a couple drove home from church one afternoon, they were talking about a friend who was going to be baptized that day. As they were saying how proud they were of him, their three-year-old daughter Elizabeth asked, “What does it mean to be baptized?”

     Their 5-year-old son Joshua spoke up, “Oh, baptism — that’s when the preacher washes all your senses away.”

     Well, that’s not quite what the scriptures teach. I’m sure what that little boy meant (at least, I hope so) is that the scriptures teach that baptism washes our “sins” away.  Ananias said to Saul (later to be known as the apostle Paul):

     “And now why are you waiting?  Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16Acts 22:16
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16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.

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     Don’t misunderstand.  It’s not that there’s magical power in the water.  In fact, the power is not in the water, but in the blood of Jesus Christ.  But as baptism demonstrates a death (to sin), burial (in water) and resurrection to new life, it expresses a faith in Jesus Christ who died, was buried and who rose again the third day (Romans 6:3-4Romans 6:3-4
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3 Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

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).  And the end result is not a washing of the body, but a washing of the soul — remission of sins (I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38Acts 2:38
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38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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     Have you taken this step of faith?

     “And now why are you waiting?  Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16Acts 22:16
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16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.

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Alan Smith

Would you have taken the money?

Mr. Estrada certainly could have used the money. About six months ago, he opened a landscaping and artificial-grass business and is in debt; he says his child support payments are tough to make; and he supports his mother, who moved in with him last year after she lost her house to a fumbled refinancing plan.  Yet, Mr. Estrada went straight to the police and turned in all $140,000.00.

Apparently a Brinks armored truck somehow lost the money.  Brinks rewarded Mr. Estrada for his good deed by giving him $2,000.00.

So now, was Mr. Estrada a really a “moron?” Only if one views such values as honesty, integrity, and the “golden rule” as foolish.  But what about the cheap reward that was offered?  Some on this blog said that if they knew the reward for turning in the money would have been so small, they would have kept it.  But do we have to be financially rewarded for doing the right thing?  Are our values so degraded that we feel we deserve a “reward” for doing what we’re supposed to do?

A moron?  Hardly.  Here’s a man who has demonstrated that he sufficient intelligence to know that some things are more valuable than money…things like integrity, honesty, and doing the right thing.  Thank you, Mr. Estrada, for your example.  May your tribe increase!

Now then, truthfully, what would you do if you found them money?  Give it some thought.  (Steve Higginbotham)

 
“Take double money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight” (Gen. 43:12Gen. 43:12
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12 and take double money in your hand; and the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks carry again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight:

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–Mike Benson

THE BATTLE FOR SOULS

Without question, the church is in a battle, a Herculean struggle of global proportions. The greatest danger of human history faces it (Rom. 6:23Rom. 6:23
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23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

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10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

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). The greatest warriors have filled its ranks (2 Tim. 2:32 Tim. 2:3
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3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

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). Each church member, like Timothy, is to “war a good warfare” (1 Tim. 1:181 Tim. 1:18
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18 This charge I commit unto thee, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to thee, that by them thou mayest war the good warfare;

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). Jesus said He “came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34Matt. 10:34
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34 Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

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). This war is not for the weak of heart or the faint in spirit. Having said all of that, there is a mentality that must be resisted with all of our collective strength. Being in this spiritual battle gives no Christian the right or license to behave like a spiritual “attack dog,” to assault or insult with sharp words, or to be obnoxious or rude in presenting the gospel (which, remember, means good news). The purpose of battle is two fold: to defeat Satan and to save the lost. Losing sight of our aim means jeopardizing our mission (cf. Matt. 28:18-20Matt. 28:18-20
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18 And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

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). We can repel the very souls we are trying to save through foolish tactics. Consider the following. The battle for souls is not a battle with souls. Remember who the adversary is! He is Satan. We are not out to slash or burn people! God forbid! Paul wrote, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12Eph. 6:12
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12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

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). These principalities, powers, and rulers refer to forces that are not associated with flesh and blood. We are trying to reach the lost—not mow them down! Some require stronger persuasion than others, but no one should be made to feel contempt or haughtiness or assaulted (cf. Jude 22-23)! The battle for souls is not a battle about who is right. This battle must never be reduced to “me versus them.” The only winner of that battle is Satan. Maintaining a spirit like Paul’s, each of us should say, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given…” (Eph. 3:8Eph. 3:8
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8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

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). We must fight with humility and meekness. The battle is for truth, not against another person. Our aim is not to shoot down the other guy’s position, to mortally wound his religion, or bomb his beliefs.

We are to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15Eph. 4:15
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15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;

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). The positive effect of truth, when believed, is the rejection of human creeds and religions. Let the truth work in that fashion (Heb. 4:12Heb. 4:12
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12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.

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). It does not need our help, through rancorous and vicious attacks on the lost person. It is a matter of what is right in religious discussion. Never is it about personal victory over another. The battle for souls is not a battle fought by carnal rules of warfare. We are not out to kill. We are out to rescue. We are going into the enemy’s camp and trying to recruit soldiers for the Lord’s cause. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Cor. 10:42 Cor. 10:4
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4 ,

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). We are not looking to shoot when we see the whites of their eyes. We are not going to shoot first, then ask questions later. We are not out to “show them.” We are seeking to sake.

Allow me to be frank. At times, attitudes have not been Christ-like. Let us avoid an overzealous attitude which wounds and bruises. Let us be zealous! But, let us channel and harness our zeal with Christ-like love. Satan is the enemy!

— Neal Pollard

Avoid false religious teachers

John warns, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world…” (2 John 7).  The particular deceivers in that passage denied that Jesus came in the flesh.  Looking at the religious landscape today, John would no doubt repeat himself.  There are so many deceivers who are leading people away from the truth.  Consider several identifying marks of false teachers, which the Holy Spirit makes known in various places throughout the Bible.
 

1.     They turn the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 4).  They distort what grace is, making it a blanket that hides blatant, willful sin.  False assurances are given about God’s grace and mankind’s attitudes about their sins.

2.     They cry “peace, peace” when there is no peace (Jer. 8:11Jer. 8:11
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11 And they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

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Superficial comfort is given to people.  How many preachers, rather than confronting sin, tell people they are OK?

3.     They overthrow the faith of people (2 Tim. 2:182 Tim. 2:18
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18 men who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some.

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  Throwing commands of scripture into doubt, lowering respect for the inspiration and perfection of the Bible, and allowing for ideas that strip the Bible of its power has undone the faith of so many.  Liberalism destroys people’s faith in God.

4.     They teach for doctrines the commandments of men (Mark 7:7Mark 7:7
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7 But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.

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If it contradicts or nullifies revealed truth, it is of man rather than God.  Looking at Christendom today, so much of what is widely embraced and assumed to be true are blatant departures from the Bible.

5.     They cover up their true intentions (Matt. 7:15Matt. 7:15
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15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.

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  Some teach falsely for the sake of being accepted.  Some do so for illicit gain.  Some do so out of an arrogant sense of self-importance (cf. Jude).  Yet, they almost always insist they are trying to help people get closer to God.

6.     They are well liked (Luke 6:26Luke 6:26
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26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for in the same manner did their fathers to the false prophets.

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  This is a potentially haunting passage.  Few preachers relish offending or upsetting people.  Yet, preaching the whole counsel of God means that, sometimes, some won’t like it.  Preachers and teachers should proclaim the truth in love (Eph. 4:15Eph. 4:15
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15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;

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7.     They secretly introduce their teaching (2 Pet. 2:12 Pet. 2:1
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2 1 But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

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  Truth is not afraid of inspection.  Error grows in darkness rather than Sonlight.

  

Preachers and teachers must have backbone.  Let us preach the truth, even when it is difficult and opposed.  Have faith.  Whatever it costs to be faithful to the Word, know that heaven will surely be worth it all.  Have conviction.  Do not let circumstance determine content (cf. 2 Tim. 4:2-52 Tim. 4:2-5
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2 preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables. 5 But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry.

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).  Truth comes from God, and so we should love it for what it is and Whose it is.

 

 –Neal Pollard

No tutti-frutti ice cream

                  CONTENT TO BE DISCONTENT

     Jones, a wealthy financier, had on many occasion in the good old  days — when trains were flourishing and coaches were the last word in
 technological luxury — crossed the continent by Pullman.  He was well  known and well served and was accustomed to every convenience,
 particularly when dining. Imagine his exasperation, then, when it turned  out that the chef did not have tutti-frutti ice cream.

     “No tutti-frutti?” he shouted.  “I always have tutti-frutti.”     “I’m sorry, sir,” said the waiter, soothingly.  “We have chocolate,
 vanilla, strawberry, black walnut, cherry, mocha almond –”

     “I want tutti-frutti,” cried Jones, banging the table and turning red.  “I have always had tutti-frutti and I won’t have anything else.”

     For miles he muttered, scowled, growled, and snarled at everyone, so  that every train employee on board had visions of angry reprisals.
 Finally, the train stopped at a station; a word to the conductor kept it  there while the crew scoured the town for tutti-frutti ice cream.

     A whole pint of the dessert was found and all of it was presented to  Jones, with huge gobs of cherry sauce on it, together with a sliced banana
 and a swirl of whipped cream.     “Here is your tutti-frutti ice cream, Mr. Jones,” said the quaking  waiter.

     Jones looked at it with a scowl, then with a sudden swipe of his arm  hurled it to the floor, shouting, “I’d rather have my grievance!”

     As embarrassing as it is to admit it, I have been in that same  situation. There are times when I have been most content to be discontent
 and have received great enjoyment from being unhappy.  And pity the person  who tried to appease me and deprive me of the “pity party” I was throwing  myself!  Have you been there as well?

     “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!”  (Philippians 4:4Philippians 4:4
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4 Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice.

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—  Alan Smith

The Bible is like no other book

IT IS OFTEN said that the Bible is it’s own best interpreter… 
  
 How true!  One of the great things in the New Testament is that we can see the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies.  Those things written before were written for our learning (Romans 15:4Romans 15:4
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.

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) and for our examples (I Corinthians 10:11). 

We serve God who knows all things without the limitations of time that we have.  He knows the future as well as He knows the past and present.  To help us (and those before us) to have greater faith, He made promises in the prophecies and then fulfilled them in minute detail.  Jesus said, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me” (Luke 24:44Luke 24:44
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

44 And he said unto them, These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me.

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). 

  

 For example:

 

Isaiah (some 800 years before) prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14Isaiah 7:14
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

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).  Matthew 1:22,23Matthew 1:22,23
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

22 Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us.

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says, “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,’ which being interpreted is, God with us.”

 

Other examples of the New Testament explaining the prophecies include:

 

Jesus came out of Egypt.                                                                               Hosea 11:1Hosea 11:1
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

11 1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

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& Matthew 2:15Matthew 2:15
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

15 and was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt did I call my son.

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The innocent babies would be slaughtered.                                                      Jeremiah 31:15Jeremiah 31:15
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

15 Thus saith Jehovah: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuseth to be comforted for her children, because they are not.

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& Matthew 2:17Matthew 2:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying,

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The Lord would work in the area of Capernaum.                                                Isaiah 9:1,2Isaiah 9:1,2
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

9 1 But there shall be no gloom to her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in the latter time hath he made it glorious, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

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& Matthew 4:14Matthew 4:14
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

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Jesus came to bear our infirmities and sicknesses.                                          Isaiah 53:3,4Isaiah 53:3,4
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

3 He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

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& Matthew 8:17Matthew 8:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases.

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The Lord showed great compassion.                                                               Isaiah 49:6Isaiah 49:6
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

6 yea, he saith, It is too light a thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

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& Matthew 12:17Matthew 12:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

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The Spirit of the Lord was upon Jesus.                                                            Isaiah 61:1Isaiah 61:1
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

61 1 The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

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& Luke 4:21Luke 4:21
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

21 And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears.

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People would hear and not understand.                                                           Isaiah 6:9,10Isaiah 6:9,10
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they sea with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn again, and be healed.

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& Matthew 13:13,14Matthew 13:13,14
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive:

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; John 12:37-41John 12:37-41
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

37 But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they believed not on him: 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 For this cause they could not believe, for that Isaiah said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and he hardened their heart; Lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, And should turn, And I should heal them. 41 These things said Isaiah, because he saw his glory; and he spake of him.

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Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt.                                         Zechariah 9:9Zechariah 9:9
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass.

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& Matthew 21:4Matthew 21:4
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4 Now this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,

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Judas would betray Jesus.                                                                             Psalms 41:9Psalms 41:9
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, Who did eat of my bread, Hath lifted up his heel against me.

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& John 13:18John 13:18
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled: He that eateth my bread lifted up his heel against me.

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Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.                                                      Zechariah 11:12,13Zechariah 11:12,13
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my hire; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver. 13 And Jehovah said unto me, Cast it unto the potter, the goodly price that I was prized at by them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them unto the potter, in the house of Jehovah.

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& Matthew 27:9Matthew 27:9
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was priced, whom certain of the children of Israel did price;

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Jesus was numbered with the transgressors.                                                   Isaiah 53:12Isaiah 53:12
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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& Mark 15:28Mark 15:28
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

28 [And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was reckoned with transgressors.]

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The soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothes.                                                         Psalms 22:18Psalms 22:18
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

18 They part my garments among them, And upon my vesture do they cast lots.

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& Matthew 27:35Matthew 27:35
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

35 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots;

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; John 19:24John 19:24
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24 They said therefore one to another, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my garments among them, And upon my vesture did they cast lots.

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Not one of Jesus’ bones would be broken.                                                       Psalms 34:20Psalms 34:20
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

20 He keepeth all his bones: Not one of them is broken.

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& John 19:36John 19:36
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36 For these things came to pass, that the scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

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The odds of all of these (and more) being so perfectly fulfilled defy the skeptics to regard these as chance.  Instead, our faith in God and in His word, the Bible, grows when we see that He always keeps His word.  When we apply this to those promises for us, we have a hope that no one can take away from us.  Jesus promised that He is coming back.  He always keeps His promises.  Let’s make sure we are ready.  (Roger Wright)        

 

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16Acts 2:16
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

16 but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel:

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).
 
–Mike Benson